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American Beer Distributing Company, Inc.
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
256 Court Street
phone: (718) 875-0226
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vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Oh American, my little secret in Brooklyn. Let me just start by saying that this place is by no means a reliable "beer mecca" as some may suggest. On the contrary, the selection is very volatile and unpredictable. That's a large part of why I love this place.
For pick-a-six and stocking up on kegs for a party this place is pretty good. Their selection is extensive and mostly local, and the prices are decent. The store clerks are generally friendly but have little to no interest in the beer. There are a few people who work there who will tell you that a bottle in your hand is good or has been selling fast, but I generally just browse the shelves on my own. As has been mentioned, the growlers fills are a flat $10 which is amazing for the city, and they often get a lot of great brews from local places such as Captain Lawrence and farther away greats such as Avery.
In terms of their storage practices, they are generally very bad, as has also been noted. It's often downright hot in the back of the store and bottles can definitely gather dust. The belgian and foreign bottles seem to move the slowest. There's also no real rhyme or reason to the way things are arranged, although after a couple of times there you'll get the feel of it.
All of the above being said, this place would probably only deserve a B at best, but that doesn't take into account the best thing about this place, which is the wacky and random finds you can make here, and how little known it is in the neighborhood. Beers that have sold out in one night at the Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room have stuck around at this place for literally months. It just seems like the neighborhood isn't very into craft beer or that most people just generally gravitate towards the more well known distributors in town, but that's what makes this place great.
About a week or two ago I stopped in on a lark on Sunday afternoon just to browse the shelves and see what was new. Somehow they had GI Rare sitting on the shelves. Not only that, but they were only charging $35 for it! I bought two bottles, and when I asked the owner how in the world he'd gotten it (note it showed up on the shelves more than a year after original release) he said that a distributor had sent it by mistake. That still doesn't explain anything, but it does explain why this place is my number one beer spot.
06-17-2011 17:55:39 |
More by petroos
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | $$$
I am always up to stop in and take a look at a new distributor. Havingb some business to take of in Brooklyn I decided to go out of my way to check out the ABDC. I have to say that I was sorely dissapointed. I found the selection to be mediocre at best and have the craft brew shelves were empty. Perhaps the Memorial Day weekend a few days before wiped them out, but I wouldn't know since nobody spoke with us. I suppose it's decent relative to some distributors but from I saw it was not worth the hype. The one plus was the bathroom was a great hit allowing us to relieve ourselves prior to the 2 1/2 hour trip in traffic back home. If this is your only place then I get the "any port in a storm" mentality but if you have any means of transportation there has to be better places nearby.
06-03-2011 20:49:38 |
More by AnPiobaire
quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
After reading all the good things about this store, I had to go check it out, knowing I was going to be in the area. I'm glad I did, because it's a good beer store. It just wasn't the beer mecca I was expecting.
As has been said before, ABD is very spacious, with a lot of floorspace to play around with. Unfortunately, I don't think its very well utilized as things seem to be sectioned off without much rhyme or reason. The domestic bombers seem to occupy three separate shelves that are spaced away from each other. The Belgian section is in disarray. Not very well-organized at all. Coolers off to the left with craft beer occupying the back right of the store. A line of growler taps is on your right just as you walk in.
Quality is above average, though it can be hit or miss. Aside from the obvious disorder, some of the bottles have a patina of dust on them, mostly the big import 750ml bottles. That's well and good for some of the higher ABV beers, but not so much for IPAs and lagers. Nevertheless, there were a lot of bottles still within freshness dates and a few interesting things like a Stone 07.07.07 VE. Selection is good, with many different breweries represented, both domestic and import. Found a few gems I'd not been able to locate in my neck of the woods, so I was happy about that.
Pricing seems a bit expensive for my tastes. New York City tax is already hurtful as it is, so the relatively high prices put a bit of a damper on things.
Staff seems to be friendly in general. The pair of ladies running the front were knowledgeable about the prices, but not the actual beer themselves. I overhead one of the other employees talking about the taps and ordering some other beer that wasn't there. On the whole, a pleasant shopping experience.
American Beer Distributing is a neat store with a good selection. Would probably be my go-to place if I lived in the area. I just wish it would have been better organized and a bit cleaner and cheaper.
11-19-2010 03:17:48 |
More by r0nyn
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Great bottle shop in Brooklyn. Stopped in with the wife after a short trip to NYC and wanted to pick up a few things not readily available in Massachusetts. Great selection, exemplifying pretty much anything that's available in the state. Given that they are distributors as well, it looks like a great place to pick up a keg too.
Chatted with the owner for a bit.. he is highly engaged in the whole craft beer scene. Seemed very enthusiastic about bringing in new brands through their distribution arm. All in all, a place I'd frequent often if I were local.
03-18-2010 14:30:13 |
More by krantul
quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
I live in Queens where the good beer distributors seem few and far between so every two or three weeks, I'll make a trip out here to this place.
Comparatively to places like New Beer in Chinatown and Bierkraft a couple of miles away, this place is much roomier. They also have a very large selesction of microbrews and surprisingly, a number of hard to find retired beers (I was able to find Unibroue 15 and 2004 here).
American Beer also does the growler thing and unlike their bottle products, which are all reasonably priced (about $6-$7 for a Stone Bomber), their growlers are usually dirt cheap. I was able to pick up a 64oz. growler of Pennichuk Pozharnik Imperial Stout for only $10 dollars!
The ladies that run this place usually don't seem to be the most helpful but that's ok if you know what you're looking for or are just searching for a new beer to try. However, they make up for this by being super friendly at the register, giving you a good feeling as you walk out the door.
Definitely an establishment to go and take a walk around even if you're a little farther away.
07-26-2009 13:57:42 |
More by SpeedwayJim
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Right around the corner from me, so it's a weekly stop on my way home to spend waaaay too much on beer. Not their fault, as most things here are priced fairly, but everything just looks so good.
Their Belgian selection is very good, and that's usually my #1 reason for stopping by. They also carry loads of beers from around the world, along with American craft brews (with an uncommonly large selection of Avery, Allagash, Rogue, and Dogfish) in both sixers and bombers. For the wealthy and employed, they carry items like small batch ciders, Cantillon Saint Lamvinus, and Sam Adams Utopias.
Despite the large square footage in the store, it's hard to tell if they're on par with the the much smaller Eagle Provisions and Bierkraft bottle-wise. But they do have an interesting selection with surprises around every corner and new finds every week.
They also have 4 taps for growlers, usually carrying a Capt. Lawrence and a Six Point. The owner tells me he's looking to expand to a much larger range of taps, 8-12 I think. I'm anticipating a larger range of Six Points. Prices for these are a little on the pricey side, but I expect them to get a little more reasonable as they expand.
There are 3 or 4 people working around the store who are always pretty great when I go over there, willing to go to the basement to get anything that isn't on the shelves, finding whatever it is you need, or making recommendations if you ask. They never bug you, which I like. But the people behind the counter generally aren't as knowledgeable and seldom seem willing to venture out of their area. They do give you hints when there's a good deal to be had, though, which is much appreciated.
Prices are pretty reasonable across the board, but some items, when compared to Eagle Provisions and Bierkraft, vary wildly in price -- some better, some worse. If you know your beers you'll be able to tell. Buy in bulk when you see a deal.
ONE IMPORTANT POINT: they are really bad with price tags -- some are inaccurate or missing. So definitely ask before you buy. Gotta deduct half a point for quality for that.
If you like to buy glasses for each of your favorite beers, they also have a decent selection of those. Tons of sodas, seltzers, specialty beverages, things like that also.
Great place overall...I keep coming back. Viva Thrifty American!
04-04-2009 14:56:42 |
More by millionsuns
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This is a good beer store. They have a great selection of micro brews, and imported beers. They also have growlers, waters, sodas, glassware and a great selection of kegs. The average price for a 12 pack like Abita or Troegs is about $17.99, good price. The average price for a six pack is about $8.99, not bad. It's a nice sized store and the aisles are big. The staff are pleasant, knowledgeable, and very helpful. Their beer selection is always growing, so this is a place I frequent and highly recommend.
10-22-2008 17:29:37 |
More by aibkstaff
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
A really great selection of American micros. If you're looking for Belgians or any other European beer, you are probably better off going to New Beer Distributors on the Lower East Side. A little pricey but they seem to have everything. I bought a couple 6 packs of Stone Ruination. The cashier was even taken aback, warning me that 'these are $17 for a 6-pack'. For comparison's sake, the same thing was $15 at NBD. Very nice and well lit atmosphere and a nice neighborhood. It would be nice to have one of these kind of places where I live.
09-28-2008 00:06:38 |
More by mattloaf1
quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I stopped here while in town for business, after searching on beerfly. Wow was this a good store, you just knew there had to be unbelievable selections in NYC. Tons of American craft beers, Belgian ales, German beers (not as many of these as I expected, but still a lot), and a good selection of UK brews. The prices were reasonable, especially in the big city. I was happy to grab some Troegs and Hair of the Dog beers (not available in central OH). Worth a stop, and not too far from the highway (about 5 minutes from the Atlantic Avenue exit).
04-09-2008 03:15:16 |
More by TurdFurgison
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place, unlike its other Brooklyn counterparts, is very spacious. So although it doesn't look as stocked as Eagle or other locations, it is very thorough in its inventory. As soon as you walk in, you're greeted by very friendly faces. It's a very family-oriented place; photos don the walls by the register and counter.
I think the noticeable difference about this place as opposed to others (other than the use of space) is the quantity. Eagle and Bierkraft may have hundreds of different beers, but American Beer is one of the only locations that have a regular supply of cases of each beer. And the prices are amazing! A case of 4 6-packs (24 bottles) of Brooklyn Lager was a tad over $33 with tax and deposit included! And they had cases for almost everything: Brooklyn Weisse, Chocolate Stout, Sam Adams, Dogfish Head, Otter Creek, Southern Tier. They even had cases of Goose Island IPA. And it was only $36!
There was a terrific selection of Stone. Smoked Porter, Vertical Epic (07.07.07), Double Arrogant Bastard, Arrogant Bastard, Old Guardian, Russian Imperial, and I took the last 11th Anniversary Ale. All of them were in bombers and for $4.50! I also saw some excellent Victory (including Old Horizontal), Sierra Nevada Harvest. And they had a huge selection of Rogue bombers: Juniper, Seahorse, Chipotle, Chocolate, Younger. I want to go back just thinking about these things.
Their foreign section is nothing to sneeze at either. It's no Eagle Provisions, but it's alright. Rochefort 6 and 8, St. Bernardus, Orval, Chimay, etc. I'm not huge on 'em, and if you're looking for more rare Belgians, Eagle might be a better fit.
So I picked up a ton of stuff and only ended up spending around $70. The prices are awesome here! For bulk purchases of good micros, come here. And to boot: price labels and tags on a lot of stuff, so no more guess work in it like other beer stores. Probably my new favorite beer store in New York City. Go here; you will not be disappointed!
01-21-2008 00:37:52 |
More by zerofear13
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American Beer Distributing Company, Inc. in Brooklyn, NY